Judging from recent history, the only thing more trying than being Paris Hilton's boyfriend is being Paris Hilton's publicist. Indeed, just as soon as she'd been dumped by her fianceÃ©, Paris Lastis, sources say the heavy handed celebutante also broke it off with her publicist, Rob Shuter, a well-regarded exec at Manhattan PR powerhouse Dan Klores Associates.
Hilton has engaged a long string of publicists during her short time in the public eye. Most of these liasions have not ended well. So when Hilton first asked Klores to represent her, the agency was a bit dubious. "She's a pain in the ass and demands constant attention," says an insider, who claims Shuter only agreed to rep the scandal-plagued heirhead after her mother begged founder Dan Klores to take her on.
Though Shuter ably weathered the firestorm of coverage that followed Hilton's ill-fated engagement, Paris was not pleased with his performance. "She felt that the press wasn't respectful enough," says a pal, "I mean, Rob's a publicist, not a magician."
After patiently babysitting the sulky socialite for months, sources say Shuter resigned from the account a month ago, after Hilton began sniping about him. Shortly after, she was passed like a bad penny to Shuter's colleague, Rob Zimmerman, a low-key former Fox News flack who has been mentioned in recent items about her misdeeds. But Zimmerman didn't last much longer. Last week Hilton decided to depart Klores for good, we hear. She is now apparently being repped by Elliott Mintz, an old-school PR pasha whose stable includes Yoko Ono and Don Johnson.
An agency source says Klores made no attempt to keep her on board. "Let's just say they aren't exactly depressed about her departure. Everyone is happy to finally have some peace." Mintz's office could not be reached at press time.
UPDATE: When we finally reached Mintz, the veteran flack was cagey about his Hilton duties. "I am one of her representatives and have been dealing with her for some time now," he said. "I don't want to convey the illusion that every public utterance on earth about Paris Hilton is my responsibility, but when it comes to personal matters and the private matters of her life, I'm the one you should keep in your rolodex."
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This came as a surprise to Jack Ketsoyan, Hilton's (real) new publicist at PMK/HBH. "He doesn't represent Paris, I do," he said. "I just took her on as of Monday. I'm handling everything--the music, the shows, everything." Ketsoyan, who said he's never heard of Mintz, had "no clue" why the spokesman would try to claim Hilton as his own, adding, "I'm very excited, and we're looking forward to working with her."
Previously: Paris-dise Lost